Tablet publishes stain-glass homage to dissenting Austrian priest Helmut Schüller, leader of the ‘Call to Disobedience’

The Tablet has published a stain-glass homage to the leader of the heretical and disobedient Austrian priests movement, Fr. Helmut Schüller, who was stripped of his title ‘monsignor’ as a result of his defiance of the authority of his bishop. In doing this The Tablet has reached a new low in its promotion of disobedience to the Catholic Church by fostering the delusion of a parallel liberal Magisterium.  Here we see The Tablet creating a parallel hagiology.


To re-call, this is the disobedience that The Tablet is celebrating:

The 407 Austrian priests and deacons who have publicly declared their support of the ‘Call to Disobedience’, have made it clear that they believe that their consciences take precedence over the doctrines and disciplines of the Catholic Church, In their newsletter they state:

‘Disobeying certain valid and strict church rulings and laws has for years been part of our life and work as priests. If we were to profess publicly that we did not think or act in this way that would only further exacerbate the discord in the Church and its pastoral work.’

‘We do not mean general disobedience for contradiction’s sake, but the graduated obedience which we first owe to God, then to our consciences and in the final instance to church law’.

It appears that FR Schuller, the leader of disobedient priests and Cardinal Schonborn’s former Vicar General, sees himself as the self-appointed guardian of the Second Vatican Council:

‘But now we have the suspicion that the Vatican wants the Church to go backwards. To see the Church as a “fortress against the world and against the secular world” was not the way that the Second Vatican Council started out. The Church was ‘afraid of lay people because they see them as infected with secularization and with relativism’.

‘The Initiative’s concerns about the priesthood were based on rights recognized by the UN for men to marry and the equal rights of women recognized by the secular world but not by the Church.’

Fr Helmut Schuller, former Vicar General of Vienna and leader of clergy who have publicly vowed disobedience against the Catholic Church, claims that they are obedient to a Church of their own creation:

‘We understand ourselves as obedient to God and to the people of God and their interests and we are obedient to a Church which is listening to the people’.

In an interview with the dissenting ‘Catholic’ newspaper The Tablet Fr Helmut Schuller admits being inspired by the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ in his ‘vow of disobedience’:

‘…he credits Cardinal Konig with operating a ‘very open atmosphere’ in the Viennese archdiocese, saying: ‘He was not a man of great discussion but he was a man of the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and we walked with him. But now we have the suspicion that the Vatican sees the Church as a fortress against the secular world and that is not the way that the Second Vatican Council started’.

Fr Schuller also believes that his group of disobedient priests and deacons can act with impunity because they have the support of the majority of Austrian priests and laity:

‘FR Schuller seemed doubtful that the hierarchy has the appetite to sanction the group because of the support they have among the clergy anf laity alike. Recent research indicates that they have the backing of 75- 80 per cent of Austrian priests and a similar level of support among the laity’.

“The bishops know that taking action against us would create a very difficult situation for the Church. I think they are looking for a way to handle the situation but they don’t know exactly how to do it,” said Mgr Schuller.

Fr Schuller explains the declaration of the ‘Vow of Disobedience’ was due to them losing patience in ‘useless dialogue’:

‘Our patience ran out. We got tired of useless dialogue…Time is running out because the Vatican is going backwards. Up to five years ago we thought nothing is moving forward but now we fear that things are moving backwards. It’s a question of speaking out very clearly because this may be the last chance for a long time to influence the course of the Church for the future.’




15 comments to Tablet publishes stain-glass homage to dissenting Austrian priest Helmut Schüller, leader of the ‘Call to Disobedience’

  • Rifleman819

    “Our patience ran out.We got tired of useless dialogue…time is running out because the Tablet is going backwards.It’s a question of speaking out very clearly because this may be the last chance to influence the course of this publication for the future before its inevitable financial bankruptcy….a bankruptcy mirrored in its irrelevance to the future of the Catholic church in Britain.”

    • Wake up England

      We’d all be much better off if The Tablet did go bankrupt. I hope and pray it does, and soon. It is clearly the work of the Devil.

      Why oh why is it still sold on church property? It’s an absolute scandal.

  • William

    And why is this man still a priest? Why has he not been laicized? Does the bishop of Rome approve of what this priest is doing? Francis drowns on and on about the poor but what else does he do? Instead of worrying about what kind of cars priests drive he might want to do something about a priest who is destroying the faith. But since Francis has yet to acknowledge that he is pope what do we do?

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      William, I understand your frustration about priests like Fr Schuller. However, its important for Catholics to show respect for the person of the successor of St Peter. We can ask critical questions, but in a respectful manner. Deacon Nick

    • Wake up England

      Dear William,

      Well, I must say I agree with you.

    • peter

      He is still a priest because he has done nothing that would lead to excommunication or laicisation. It is good that people ask difficult questions of the whole church, and yes people sometimes go too far. On this occasion Schuller’s is asking questions that many of his fellow Austrian are asking.

      Helmut Schuller seeks the following
      that every parish have a presiding leader.
      Ignore the prohibition of preaching by competently trained laity.
      Avoid celebrating Mass multiple times on Sundays.
      Promote “priest-less Eucharistic celebrations,” a lay-led Liturgy of the Word with distribution of Communion when a priest is not available.
      Schuller publicly asks for the admission of women and married people to the priesthood and welcome back colleagues who left the ministry because they got married.
      Not to deny Communion to faithful people of goodwill, especially those who are divorced and remarried.

      As i see it, two of the above are controversial; woman priests and communion for divorced and remarried catholics. Why are these topics beyond theological enquiry?

      Pope Francis follows the tradition of the OT prophets who continually remind the people of Israel to treat the poor with dignity. It seems to me that priests and all people would do well and take catholic social teaching more seriously. Asking priests to live a simple life is a part of Francis’ wider agenda to have a church of the poor.

      I am the one who is often described as a cafeteria catholic, but when it comes to the church’s teaching about the poor/economics/unions/solidarity/social justice/peace, many others seem to become cafeteria catholics too.

      • agent.provocateur

        Are you crazy???

        Parishes don’t need presiding leaders, they need holy priests.
        Homilies must be delivered by a priest/deacon/bishop. Non-negotiable.
        Why does he want to limit the number of celebrations? Perhaps he does not like the Holy Mass?!
        Priest-less Eucharistic celebration? Hmm, wait a moment..sounds protestant. Request denied.
        Women priests? Good joke.
        Communion is a privilege, not a right.

        Not. Going. To. Happen.

        • peter

          In an ideal world every parish should have a priest, but there aren’t enough priests for the present diocesan/deanery/parish structure. Going through your points quickly.

          1. Each parish should have a leader, but because of a shortage of priests in many parts of the world Schuller’s pragmatic approach suggests a way forward. A parish requires a leader but that leader doesn’t need to be an ordained priest. This role would be functional rather than sacramental. It is already happening in many parts of the world, especially Africa. The leader still answers to the bishop/priest/parish/deanery/ council. I know a number of religious sisters and brothers who already have such a role.

          2. Although Redemptionis Sacramentum prohibits a lay person from giving the homily the theological reasoning behind the prohibition is rather weak in my opinion. A properly trained lay person could do the homily and often does so in my experience. Why do you believe it requires ordination to preach?

          3. Celebrating too many masses a day is not healthy for a priest and celebrating more than three masses on a Sunday is against canon law. See canon 905 and you will see how strict the church is. The ideal is 1 or 2 masses per day.

          4. Schuller is acknowledging the reality in many parts of the world, when there isn’t a priest available, the people have a eucharistic service etc. For an example please see Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest

          5. We will have woman priests one day. Not in my lifetime maybe not in the next 200 years… but eventually.

          6. If you read Redemptionis Sacramentum, the document makes clear that it is a right that people have access to the Eucharist para 164 notes ‘to keep alive in the community a genuine ‘hunger’ for the Eucharist, so that no opportunity for the celebration of Mass will ever be missed’

    • Sonja

      In defense of Pope Francis — he is doing a grand job reminding people of the basics of the scriptures on a daily basis, and living by example. The poor all over the world exist — in increasing numbers and poverty is the root of much the world’s problems. Poverty feeds instability. Migration becomes a divisive hot potato. He is right to highlight and focus on these issues. He is indeed the world’s pastor (from his position as Pope). Appointed successor to Peter he is still one remarkable man and cannot do everything that needs to be done alone. He relies on the Church hierarchy to help him. Cardinal Schoenborn (with strong papabile credentials last time round) is responsible for dealing with the dissent in his jurisdiction in the first instance. At the end of the day he represents 430 odd deacons and priests in Austria out of a sum total of more than 3,000. He is being given too much air time, for the weight that he punches.

  • BJC

    It’s the last chance saloon for the liberals. If they can’t get momentum now they’ve had it. Father time is catching up with them and the biological solution beckons. Catherine Pepinster and Tina Beattie are youngsters at 54 and 58 respectively. One thing’s for sure they’ll be no ‘Youth Liberal Catholics’ at WYD in Rio because the only thing they’ve ever been good at is creating lapsed Catholics. This tour should billed as one for ‘pensioners and the semi-retired only’ – no one else even knows who they are they’ve been so successful in chasing people out of the Church.

    I can just hear Fr. Schuller’s opening words now…. ‘First of all I want to say I haven’t come here to change anybody’s point of view. I just want to dialogue with you and start a discussion. There are very real questions we need to discuss blah, blah, blah…’. It will be the usual ploy of ‘let’s dialogue’ but the ulterior motive is actually ‘let’s talk heresy’ and in particular I want to corrupt the meaning of these four Catholic teachings.

    1. Development of doctrine
    2. Sensus fidelium
    3. You cannot separate Christ from His Church – absolutely essential if you are a cafeteria Catholic
    4. Conscience

    Fr. Schuller is looking more and more like Martin Luther everyday and it will be interesting to see if he turns out be a match for the old heresiarch. The tactics though surely will be to stay inside the Church because the moment they leave they’ve had it. In any instance they are all too wet for that.

  • William

    I can see this priest being made the bishop of Rome’s secretary and traveling to Germany with Francis to help Francis celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation. Wait and see if I am right. 100 percent positive Francis will praise the Reformation but will he make this Austrian priest a bishop or a cardinal 50/50 on that one. No disrespect intended I am just stating my opinion…….it’s scary because you can just see Francis praising Luther and Calvin, truth is not disrespect I haven!t called the bishop of Rome a nasty name or accused him of immorality. But he is what he is. Has he defended life, marriage, tradition. Answer is no, it’s just the poor, the poor, the poor.

    • peter

      But William
      that is what Jesus did. Matthew 25 is the best example of how Jesus expects us to build a relationship with himself. To be close to Jesus you must be with the poor.
      “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’


  • BJC

    Just been doing some more research on Fr.Schuller. This is what he said in December 2011:

    “Schüller thinks that Church leaders have an overly priest-centric view of Christianity that they are reluctant to give up.

    “They want to be accepted as the intermediaries between God and the people,” he demurs. Yet “Jesus was a layman,” Schüller points out. “And he made no effort to install a clerical class…he encouraged people to confront God on their own.”

    Leaving aside the fact he says “Jesus was a layman”, which could imply he doesn’t think he’s God (made flesh) he then goes on to say he doesn’t believe Our Lord instituted the priesthood. Its more than a coincidence I would think that that is exactly what Fr. Tony Flannery of the dissenting ACP in Ireland believes as well (see link below). As soon as you start denying that it makes you wonder what he must think about the mass. Again I don’t think its any coincidence that he’s being sponsored in the US by groups like the Women’s Ordination Conference who have a heretical view of the mass and an aversion to the words ‘the Holy Sacrifice of the mass’. Fr. John S. Hardon, the scourge of the modernist/liberal, always said the one sure way to spot them is that they will always talk about ‘the Eucharist’, ‘the Eucharistic celebration’, ‘the Breaking of the bread’ etc but will never talk about ‘the Holy Sacrifice’ because quite simply they don’t believe in it. If you look at the Pfarrer-Initiative stuff that’s exactly what they do. Its no coincidence again I would have thought that he doesn’t believe in denying Holy Communion to Protestants. And of course if he has a heretical view on the mass what then does he believe about grace and Original Sin?

    The truth about Fr.Helmut Schuller I would think is that like all liberals/modernists he’s a cynic through and through. Rather like an ice-berg nine-tenths of what he actually believes is below the surface but he’s not going to tell anyone because he thinks that will scare you off (and it will). The tactic therefore is to invite you to “dialogue” first and put on his best “victim” face and then hit you with the heretical stuff when he’s softened you up later.

    • Wake up England


      What you say is absolutely right.

      It’s terrifying that we have these Quisling priests and nuns in our midst who are hell-bent on causing as much damage as possible to The Church.

      Our Lord cursed the fig tree which bore no fruit. Why, then, do our bishops not follow this example and act decisively against this astonishing dissent?

      WAKE UP BISHOPS and do your jobs

  • gilhcan

    It is easy to recognize the comments from those who know nothing of church history and consider their religion as some form of magic. And it is easy to recognize the comments of those who have studied and learned about their church, can think for themselves, and are not blindly subservient. Until the big majority of “church citizens” reaches the latter enlightened stage, there will always be the illiterate contention that causes division. “That all may be one,” does not mean they are non-thinking clones of any monarchy. It means that in the spirit of understanding, acceptance, and genuine “love,” they will live and work together with respect for each other’s differences.

    “Ut omnes unum–in caritate!” If you’d like to revert to the old Latin that very few outside the clergy understood. In fact, very few of the clergy really understood Latin intelligently.

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